Rethink your Comfort Foods

What makes a food calming? Too often, a client will wave me off when I bring up this topic and say, “Oh, Keri, all foods are calming foods. Whenever I’m eating, I feel better.” But there’s a huge difference between tapping into a food’s inherently calming properties and using any food as a kind of emotional anesthesia. That kind of eating may buy you a temporary sense of calm, but it’s a quick fix that wears off way too fast. And where does it usually leave you? Weighing more than you’d like and muttering at yourself, “Yuck, how could I have eaten all that?”

Stressful events—and they don’t even have to be big, just the daily hassles of life—cause our cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol causes food cravings, and in women those cravings tend to be strongest for carbs, especially sweet foods, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. The more of them we eat, the worse our mood gets. As if that weren’t bad enough, the cortisol then makes more trouble for us, triggering an enzyme in our fat cells (it converts cortisone to more cortisol). Since our visceral fat cells (the ones in our abdomen, packed around our vital organs) have more of these enzymes than the subcutaneous fat cells (the fat on our thighs and butts, for example), stress causes many women to accumulate more belly fat. The more stress, the more this abdominal, or central, obesity occurs. Some research has found that these belly fat cells, which have been linked to a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes, have four times as many cortisol receptors as regular fat cells.

So when I talk about calming foods, I don’t mean so-called comfort foods. I mean meals and snacks that will truly soothe and calm you. Whether it’s because of the specific nutrients they provide or the steady, reliable source of energy they give you, they’ll get you through the day feeling focused, even, and balanced—so you’ll have the ability to conquer anything.

Asparagus

I know, these slender stalks are known to make your urine smell funny. But they are high in folate, which is essential for keeping your cool. I like them steamed, then added to salads. I also love them broiled until crisp. Go ahead and eat as many as you’d like.

Avocados

These creamy fruits stress-proof your body. Rich in glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage, avocados also contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and more folate than any other fruit. A single serving (about one-quarter of an avocado) has plenty of B vitamins, too.   Also very high is potassium.

Berries

Their antioxidants counteract the effects of stress hormones like cortisol on your body.  Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, and they’ve been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition. But all berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress. German researchers tested this by asking 120 people to give a speech, then do hard math problems. Those who had been given vitamin C had lower blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol after the stressfest.

Cashews

Cashews are an especially good source of zinc—a 1-ounce serving has 11 percent of your RDA. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it’s important to get some every day.

Chamomile tea

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania tested chamomile supplements on 57 participants with generalized anxiety disorder for 8 weeks, and found it led to a significant drop in anxiety symptoms. And yes, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there is some evidence that, in addition to calming nerves, chamomile promotes sleep. Just pour a cup of boiling water over 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of the dried flowers (you can buy chamomile either loose or in tea bags at health food stores) and steep for 10 minutes. Try having a cup every night: Turn off the TV, the computer, and your phone, and settle down for a peaceful end to the day. It’s nice iced, too.

Chocolate

Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm. It contains more polyphenols and flavonols—two important types of antioxidants—than some fruit juices. You can safely allow yourself dark chocolate as a snack once a week, or as a conscious indulgence, and still stay on track with your weight loss results. The darker the chocolate, the more healthy substances you’re getting in your diet, so look for bars that are 70 percent cacao or higher.

Garlic

Like many plants, garlic is jam-packed with powerful antioxidants. These chemicals neutralize free radicals (particles that damage our cells, cause diseases, and encourage aging) and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage the free radicals cause over time. Among the compounds in garlic is allicin, which has been linked to fending off heart disease, cancer, and even the common cold. Because stress weakens our immune system, we need friends like garlic, which can toughen it back up.

Grass-fed beef

Grass-fed beef is not only better for the planet, it’s also better for people. It has more antioxidants—including vitamins C and E and beta-carotene—than grain-fed beef, and doesn’t have added hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs. And while it’s lower in fat overall, it’s about two to four times higher in omega-3s. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that healthy volunteers who ate grass-fed meat increased their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and decreased their levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. These changes have been linked with a lower risk of a host of disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and inflammatory disease. Grass-fed beef is pricey but well worth the occasional splurge. (If you’re really gung-ho on the concept, check out local sources for “cowpooling,” where you go in with others on shares of grass-fed cattle.)

Green Tea

While it does contain caffeine, green tea also has an amino acid called theanine. Researchers at the University of Illinois say that in addition to protecting against some types of cancer, this slimming food is a brain booster as well, enhancing mental performance. Drink two cups each day.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal helps you produce serotonin, a calming hormone that helps fight anxiety’s negative effects—which is probably why many of us crave them when we’re stressed. Go with the craving and choose healthy sources. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which means that your body will absorb it slowly. In one fell swoop, you’ll prolong the serotonin boost, keeping yourself feeling full for longer (and on less) and making sure your blood sugar’s in check.

Oranges

Another vitamin C powerhouse, oranges have the added benefit of being totally portable. That tough skin keeps them protected while they’re bouncing around in your purse or backpack, meaning you can tote them anywhere.

Oysters

And you thought oysters were only good as aphrodisiacs! They belong here, too, because they’re the Godzilla of zinc: Six oysters, which is what you’d typically be served in a restaurant as an appetizer, have more than half the RDA for this important mineral. I think they’re best served on ice with nothing but a lemon wedge.

Salmon

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids—abundant in fish like salmon—can help reverse stress symptoms by boosting serotonin levels, and that an omega-3–rich diet can also help suppress the production of the anxiety hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

Spinach

Studies show that magnesium, which you’ll find in leafy greens like spinach, improves your body’s response to stress.

Sunflower Seeds

A good source of folate, which helps your body produce a pleasure-inducing brain chemical called dopamine.

Walnuts

The sweet flavor of walnuts is so pleasant, and it’s nice to know they’ve been proven to provide a bit of a cognitive edge. They contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid, and other polyphenols that have been shown to help prevent memory loss. Researchers at Tufts University found that animals that ingested walnuts even reversed some signs of brain aging.

They’ve been shown to help lower blood pressure, which is critical for those whose hearts are already working overtime thanks to high adrenaline levels. In fact, research so strongly backs their health benefits that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration goes so far as to recommend 1 1/2 oz per day.

 

 

 

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Contact

NYHealing Healing Touch provides healing relief to our patients in the comfort of their home.  Call or email us to ask about prices and availability.

We Manage Pain Before IT Manages You

heidi@nyhealingtouch.com  917-494-6679

www.nyhealingtouch.com

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Terri Marmorstein: About Me

Hi! I’m Terri.  Welcome to my corner. Heidi and I met the summer of 2003 while working in the Hamptons.  Our business ethics brought us together to form NYHealing Touch.

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Trigger Point Dry Needling Technique

“Myofascial” Made Simple

The word myofascial means muscle tissue (myo) and the connective tissue in and around it (fascia).  Myofascial pain often results from muscle injury or repetitive strain. When stressed or injured, muscles often form trigger points, like contacted knots, that cause pain and tightness.

[mī·ōfa′shē·əl] pertaining to a muscle and its sheath of connective tissue, or fascia.

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

 

Myofascial trigger points are an extremely common cause of pain. Trigger points are painful when pressed on, cause a shortening of the muscle fibers, and have a special property called referred pain. Referred pain means that a trigger point in one muscle can create pain in another area.

For instance, when the muscle at the top of your shoulder (trapezius) has a trigger point it will refer pain up the side of your neck and head causing a headache.  Active myofascial trigger points in the muscles of the shoulder neck and face are a common source of headaches.  In many instances the headache has the features of so-called tension headache, but there is increasing acceptance that myofascial trigger points may initiate classical migraine headaches or be part of a mixed tension/migraine headache complex.

When all is in working order, muscles allow us to perform normal activities with ease.  When our muscles harbor trigger points, we experience pain, stiffness and tension, physical limitation and loss of normal function.  Factors commonly cited as predisposing to trigger point formation include deconditioning, poor posture, repetitive mechanical stress, mechanical imbalance (e.g. leg length inequality), joint disorders, non-restorative sleep and vitamin deficiencies.

Often, trigger points are present secondary to other sources of pain, such as arthritis or bulging discs.  Often called “the great mimickers,” these trigger points may actually be causing the painful symptoms attributed to with these conditions.

Diagnoses include:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Rotator cuff (shoulder) pain
  • Jaw pain (TMJD)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hand and arm pain
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Pelvic pain
  • Hip pain
  • “Sciatic” pain (buttock and leg pain)
  • Leg and knee pain
  • Plantar fascitis (foot) pain
  • Tendinitis/tendinopathy
  • Burstitis
  • Arthritis
  • Disc pain (bulge/rupture/herniation) and radiculopathy
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Fibromyalgia

How Trigger Points Are Formed

The damage to muscle and connective tissue which results in trigger points can occur several ways. It can happen as the result of:

  • Repetitive overuse injuries (using the same body parts in the same way hundreds of times on a daily basis) from activities such as typing/mousing, handheld electronics, gardening, home improvement projects, work environments, etc.
  • Sustained loading as with heavy lifting, carrying babies, briefcases, boxes, wearing body armor or lifting bedridden patients.
  • Habitually poor posture due to our sedentary lifestyles, de-conditioning and poorly designed furniture
  • Muscle clenching and tensing due to mental/emotional stress.
  • Direct injury such as a blow, strain, break, twist or tear. Think car accidents, sports injuries, falling down stairs and the like.
  • Surprisingly, trigger points can even develop due to inactivity such as prolonged bed rest or sitting.

Active Trigger Points

After forming, trigger points have two phases, active and latent.  The active, painful phase of the trigger point is the one which produces the unrelenting, debilitating pain symptoms and which motivates people to seek relief.   It causes the muscle in which it’s located to be weak and due to the taut bands, to have limited flexibility.  The active trigger point referral symptom may feel like a dull ache, deep, pressing pain, burning, or a sensation of numbness and fatigue.  It can also cause sweating, tearing of eyes, goosebumps and dizziness.

The affected dense, shortened muscles, laden with taut bands may even compress and entrap nerves, leading to another secondary set of symptoms.  If unaddressed or ineffectively treated, adjacent muscles  may be required to “take up the slack”, thus becoming stressed and developing secondary trigger points.

Latent Trigger Points

Trigger points can also lie quietly in muscles, sometimes for years.  This type of trigger point is called latent.  Latent trigger points are very common.  Unless you press on the trigger point and feel the tenderness, you probably don’t know they are there.

Latent trigger points cause:

  • Restricted movement
  • Distorted muscle movement patterns
  • Stiffness and weakness of the affected muscle

Many things can cause a trigger point to become active.  An old injury that periodically re-surfaces (that “trick knee” or low back “going out”) may very likely be due to latent trigger points “waking up” and becoming active when aggravated by muscle overload, a cold draft, fatigue, infection, illness, or stress.

Treating Myofascial Pain with Trigger Point Therapy

Treating each trigger point is relatively simple. Treating the whole myofascial pain syndrome so that pain fully goes away is a more complicated process.

Since a trigger point is the contraction mechanism of the muscle locked into a shortened position, the treatment of the trigger point involves unlocking that contraction mechanism (sarcomere). This can be achieved in several ways. Trigger Point Pressure Release (David Simons, MD and Janet Travell, MD) involves applying pressure with a finger or other instrument to the trigger point and increasing the pressure as the trigger point “releases” and softens.

Rather than using finger pressure for multiple counts of 6, I insert acupuncture needles directly into the trigger points.    Dry Needling “pops” the trigger points, releases toxins and provides immediate relief.  The purpose of this technique is to inactivate the myofascial trigger points by producing a local twitch response.  This local twitch response then releases the shortened bands of muscle fibers.  The result is muscle relaxation and pain relief.  No medication of any kind is injected; hence the name “DRY” needling.  Inactivation of the trigger points can bring immediate relief of symptoms.

The advantages of dry needling over other treatments are that we can treat  deeper layers of muscles, which our hands and fingers cannot reach.  Also, this method is far superior in achieving a local twitch response over other manual techniques.  Thus, results are achieved with dry needling which cannot be obtained with any other treatment.

 What to Expect from Treatment

Dry needling is an intense sensation and not everyone can handle it.  If you can’t handle pain, don’t worry, the needles can be inserted more shallowly and retained.  It will not remove the toxins and deactivate the triggers as quickly, but it will still happen.

It is common for patients to experience some soreness for one to two days after treatment.   You may experience fatigue as the chronically held musculature is allowed to relax and return to a normal tone, however some patients experience an increase in energy.  As the work-load of the musculature shifts and returns to abnormal balance, pain patterns may change.  This is a temporary and normal stage of recovery from chronic pain.  It is not uncommon for people to experience relief from symptoms they were not seeking treatment for, such as chronic hand and forearm pain clearing up after being treated for a stiff neck.

Your rate of improvement depends on many conditions:

  • Type of injury and length of time since it occurred.
  • Overall physical health and level of fitness
  • Perpetuating factors (many can be eliminated, others can not)
  • Underlying skeletal abnormalities
  • Nutrition (vitamin and mineral deficiencies, poor diet etc.)
  • Quality of sleep
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Patient compliance with self-care and eliminating or reducing perpetuating factors.
  • Other medical conditions (i.e. allergies, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, etc.)

I like to see most patients weekly for 1 month in order to achieve maximum results.   Further treatments are discussed in person.

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10 Things You Can Do To Strengthen The Immune System

THE FLU IS A SYMPTOM OF STRESS.

Stress is still the #1 disease instigator.  Stress kills your immune system and depletes all minerals in the body, wearing you down.  Prevention and self care will keep you healthy.  Listen to your Body and don’t neglect what it is telling you.

Here are a Few Suggestions for Self Care All Year Round:

1. REST – The body heals best when rested.   The immune system works to make you sleep; and sleep allows your immune system to work.  Studies have found that REM sleep allows a complete “battery recharge” in the body, allowing memories to become permanent in the brain, and allowing the immune system to repair any damages done to cells and organs.  8 hours is optimal.

2. DRINK WATER – One of the benefits of drinking water is that adequate hydration has a huge impact on your immune system.  Water helps all of your body’s systems function at optimum levels.  Drinking plenty of water flushes toxins and ensures that your cells get all of the oxygen they need to function as they were meant to.

  • Water Oxygenates your BLOOD and Flushes TOXINS
  • Water helps in the Production of LYMPH
  • Water  keeps your EYES and MOUTH Clean
  • Water helps you Digest your FOOD
  • Water Prevents and Treats COMMON CHRONIC AILMENTS

3. EAT AN ALKALINE DIET – Our levels of stress, sleep deprivation and anxiety—characteristics of the modern world—lead to an overactive adrenal gland that constantly releases cortisol and aldosterone, with a consequent buildup of glucose, lactic acid and cetones. These force the kidneys into excreting abnormal amounts of certain minerals.

Changes in the acidity of the tissues and blood force our body to work in less than optimal environments.  It compromises the immune system and the body’s capacity to heal.

Consuming the correct balance of acid and alkaline foods will help you maintain optimal health or recover from poor health.

  • The human body functions best with an internal chemistry being slightly alkaline – a pH of 7.0 to 8.0. Your blood must maintain a pH of 7.4. If the blood pH falls below 7.2, you die. Cells die at about 3.5 pH and are in disease when below 7.0.

4. AVOID FOOD YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO, SUGAR, CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL IN EXCESS, DRUGS, AND JUNK FOODS – THEY TURN THE BODY ACIDIC AND WEAR DOWN YOUR ADRENALS AND THYROID GLANDS.  Take your basal temperature and see where you are. If under 98.6, you are run down.

5. SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS – Probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Omega 3 Fish Oils, Astragalus, and many others

6. TAKE NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS – such as probiotics, colostrum, and herbs that are natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic.

  • The Body responds better to natural ingredients as it can absorb and assimilate them better.  Prescription drugs make the liver, kidneys and gallbladder work harder to eliminate things it cannot assimilate.

7. EAT A BALANCED NUTRITIONAL PROGRAM – WITH ADEQUATE PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATES, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.  EAT GREEN TO KEEP YOUR pH ALKALINE.  And EAT GOOD FATS TO INSURE BRAIN HEALTH. (flax, coconut oil, fish oil).

8. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE WEATHER – According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wind (as one of the six external pathogenic factors) enters through the base of the neck.  So, make sure you wear a scarf on cold-windy days.

9. REDUCE PHYSICAL STRESS – Get a MASSAGE, make sure your STRUCTURE IS ALIGNED correctly, get an ACUPUNCTURE treatment to help maintain vital qi.  These three therapies ARE BODY MAINTENANCE and insure flushing out toxins in the muscles, spinal and nerve function and energetic movement throughout the body.  Done on a regular basis, the body can remain healthy.

10. REDUCE YOUR MENTAL/EMOTIONAL STRESS – by exercise, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, take time for yourself, be with friends and love ones, laugh, walk, enjoy nature, see the world around you, and have a positive attitude. Write yourself affirmations and post them.  Do whatever it takes.

This is body maintenance, prevention and self-care.   Educate yourself in your own health care needs. It is the most cost effective and most satisfying way I know to stay healthy and enjoy life.

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5 Element Theory

By the transformation of yang and its union with yin, the Five Elemental Energies of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water arise, each within its specific nature according to its share of yin and yang.  These Five Elemental Energies constantly change their sphere of activity, nurturing and counteracting one another so that there is a constancy in the transformation from emptiness to abundance and abundance to emptiness, like a ring without beginning or end.  The interaction of these primordial forces brings harmonious change and the cycles of nature run their course . . . The Five Elemental Energies combine and recombine in innumerable ways to produce manifest existence.  All things contain all Five Elemental Energies in various proportions.” Ancient Chinese Text

 

 

Let’s take a look at this idea in terms of the basic seasonal cycles of nature, which influence every living thing on earth.

Water is the elemental energy associated with winter, when a state of extreme yin prevails.  Winter is the season of stillness and rest, during which energy is condensed, conserved, and stored.  Water is a highly concentrated element containing great potential power awaiting release.  In the human body, Water is associated with essential fluids such as hormones, lymph, marrow, and enzymes, all of which contain great potential energy.  Its color is black, the color which contains all other colors in concentrated form.  In nature, Water is dissipated by excess heat; in humans, Water energy is depleted by the ‘heat’ of stress and excess emotions.  The way to conserve the potential energy of Water is to stay still and ‘be cool’.

The next phase of the seasonal cycle is spring, during which the Wood element arises from the potential energy of Water, just as plants sprout from the ground in spring rains.  This is the ‘new yang’ stage of the cycle.  Wood energy is expansive, exhilarant, explosive.  It is the creative energy of ‘spring fever’, awakening the procreative drive of sexuality.  It is associated with vigor and youth, growth and development.  In the human body, Wood energy is associated with the movement of muscles and the activity of tissues.  Its color is green, the vibrant color of spring growth.  Wood energy demands free expression and space for open expansion.  Blocking it gives rise to feelings of frustration, anger, jealousy, and stagnation.

Just as spring develops naturally into summer, so the aggressive creative energy of Wood matures into the flourishing ‘full yang’ energy of Fire.  This is the most overtly energetic phase of the cycle, during which the ‘heat’ of full yang energy is sustained.  All life forms flourish in summer owing to the warm, stable glow of Fire energy.  Fire is related to the heart, which is the seat of human emotions and the organ whose constant warmth and pulse keeps blood and energy moving.  Its color is red, the warm color of fire and blood.  It is associated with love and compassion, generosity and joy, openness and abundance.  If blocked it results in hypertension and hysteria, heart problems and nervous disorders.

Towards the end of summer comes an interlude of perfect balance during which Fire burns down and energy mellows, transforming itself into the elemental energy of Earth.  Neither yin nor yang predominates during this period; instead they are in a state of optimum balance.  This is the pivot of the cycle, the fulcrum between the yang energies of spring and summer and the yin energies of autumn and winter.  The Five Elemental Energies hum in harmony at this time, providing a sense of ease, well-being, and completeness.  The Earth energy of late summer is the phase and the feeling celebrated in the song ‘Summertime, and the living is easy …’  Its color is yellow, the color of sun and earth, and in human anatomy it is associated with the stomach, spleen, and pancreas, which lie at the center of the body and nourish the entire system.  If Earth energy is deficient, digestion is impaired and the entire organism is thrown off balance owing to insufficient nourishment and vitality.

As summer passes into autumn, the energy of Earth transforms into Metal.  During the Metal phase, energy once again begins to condense, contract, and draw inward for accumulation and storage, just as the crops of summer are harvested and stored in autumn for use in winter.  Wastes are eliminated, like winnowing chaff from wheat, and only the essence is kept in preparation for the nonproductive Water phase of winter.  If the harvest fails or falls short, there may not be sufficient energy stored during Water/winter to generate a strong and healthy cycle in the following Wood/spring.  Metal energy controls the lungs, which extract and store essential energy from air and expel wastes from the blood, and the large intestine, which eliminates solid wastes while retaining and recycling water.  Its color is white, the color of purity and essence.  Autumn is the season of retrospection and meditative insight, for shedding old skin and dumping the excess baggage of external attachments and emotions accumulated in summer, just as trees shed their leaves and bees drive drones from the hive at this time of year.  Resisting this energy by clinging sentimentally to past attachments can cause feelings of melancholy, grief, and anxiety, which manifest themselves physiologically in breathing difficulties, chest pain, skin problems, and low resistance.  Flues, colds, and other respiratory ailments are common indicators of blocked Metal energy, which is associated with the lungs.  Just as Metal is a refined extract of Earth forged by Fire, so autumn is the season for extracting and refining essential lessons from the activities and experiences of summer, transforming them into the quiet wisdom of winter.

 

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Pain Relief through Acupuncture

Acupuncture treats pain through a variety of mechanisms.  Energetically, it opens meridian pathways to facilitate the smooth flow of Qi.  Physiologically, it improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation.  It relieves muscle tension and spasms, releases trigger points that contribute to both muscle and joint pain, and resets muscle spindles to improve musculoskeletal function.  Biochemically, acupuncture releases endorphins and neurotransmitters that act on pain receptors in the brain.

Don’t live with pain…acupuncture works.

 

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Myofascial Holding Pattern

Myofascia refers to the tissue that covers and holds together all of the muscles. Myo meaning ‘muscle’ and fascia meaning ‘covering’. This fabric like tissue flows throughout the entire body, wrapping and connecting all of the muscles in the body into a web-like matrix.

The central nervous system has many peripheral nerves that run through the myofascial matrix as it connects to each individual muscle. When our sympathetic nervous system is over-stimulated through stress, over work, or unresolved emotions or physical traumas, our brain tells our muscles and the myofascia to tense up and constrict.

With repeated tensing and constricting of our muscles and the fascia covering the muscles, we begin to develop a repetitive, patternized, habitual muskuloskeletal response to stress or fatigue. The Myofascial matrix starts to become locked in a specific pattern due to years of repetitive straining.

After having developed a myofascial holding pattern, it becomes much harder to resolve muscle tension or orthopedic misalignment. We get a massage but then we’re tense the next day. We get a chiropractic adjustment but our spine goes out the next day. The myofascial holding pattern becomes a myofascial pain syndrome.

These knots in our shoulders and lower back are places where the fascia of one muscle has become glued to the fascia of its neighboring muscle so now the muscles are stuck together, unable to glide smoothly over one another. Now we are unable to turn our neck or bend over to touch our feet. Our muscles have all been glued together.

How can I resolve this Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

There are many therapies out there that can help. Massage helps to work directly on the fascia if done properly. Trigger Point therapy is very useful for unlocking myofascial holding patterns. Shiatsu and Acupressure are also very useful and similar types of massage therapy for myofascial pain syndromes since they work directly on the meridians and muscles that connect to the diseased tissues.

Acupuncture is a very powerful treatment for both relaxing the muscles and the central nervous system back into the parasympathetic mode of ‘rest and relaxation’ which is the key to resolving the myofascial pain syndrome and holding pattern.

Acupuncture has also been shown to elevate endorphins, serotonin, and natural opiates produced by the hypothalamus in the brain to induce pain relief and a sense of calm. Many acupuncture points on the scalp are useful for relaxing the sympathetic nervous system and reducing our pain response.

People with myofascial pain syndrome are always diagnosed as having ‘Liver Qi Stagnation’.

Pain and tension are a sign of blockage to the natural flow of Qi and blood. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) state that the flow of Qi is governed by the Liver while the flow of Blood is controlled by the Heart. Together the Liver, Heart, and the Lungs maintain a smooth flow of circulation throughout the body.

TCM and acupuncture is able to diagnose imbalances in the organ systems at a much more subtle level than Western medical diagnostics so don’t think that if you are told that you have ‘Liver Qi stagnation’ that you have a Liver disease as defined by Western medical terms. It just means that you are developing an energetic pattern that will probably result in Western medical condition. TCM and acupuncture is a preventative medicine and helps to resolve imbalances before they even manifest to the point where an M.D. can be able to diagnose any disease.

Anger is the emotion that is most associated with the Liver although all emotions disrupt the Liver’s ability to maintain a smooth flow of Qi in the body. The Qi is said to move the blood so if you have Qi stagnation, you will eventually wind up with Blood stagnation. Most people with back pain have both.

This is how unresolved emotions or personal conflicts are said to effect the body in Traditional Chinese Medical terms. It is very similar to the theory of psycho-somatic diseases. This theory states that diseases are a result of the imbalances in the mind. TCM states that all disease begins with Qi stagnation.

Whichever language you like to use, the message is the same. Old emotions and childhood or adult traumatic events get stuck in the body, causing a cyclical, repetitive response these old memories. Our muscles remain tense, our Myofascial matrix remains frozen in the same state as it was when it originally responded to the initial trauma that led to a snowballing effect of emotional disturbances that followed ever after.

Now we get angry very easily, or frightened or manically joyful. We are hyper-emotional. All of these constant emotions excite our sympathetic nervous system, causing more strain and stress on our adrenal glands as all of this energy to driven from the core of our being, outwardly into our environment.

We would do well to close our eyes, ears, and mouth to the outside world and try to resolve the inner conflict that is really troubling us.

Try now, closing your eyes…..slow down your breathing…and try to feel your body with your mind.

Start at the top of your head and work your way down to your feet. Breathing deeply into our lower abdomen….relaxing our muscles into the earth below.

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Quick Summary

Massage Therapy and Acupuncture are finally looked upon as preventative medicine.  We provide a variety of modalities to support my patients as they strive to regain, maintain and expand their health and well-being.

We specialize in helping patients with chronic and acute injuries, pre- and post- surgery, stress control, anti-aging, and health prevention.  Our expertise and experience provides my patients with a total approach to health and healing.  Together, massage and acupuncture provide a symbiotic and harmonious balance.

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Services Menu

Therapeutic Massage Therapy

Deep Tissue/Sports Massage

Acupuncture

Neurofunctional Acupuncture/Dry Needling/Trigger Point Therapy

Acussage

Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

Reflexology

 

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